Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2010

Autumn At Montgomery Village II

Today's my first day of work after a two-week vacation and it's painful. I feel like a new employee all over again trying to catch up with new cases and issues we're dealing with. My jet lag isn't helping as I am sleepy and tired most of the time. In addition to catching up, I was shocked to find out one of my coworkers resigned while I was away. I feel sad because I didn't have time to say goodbye to her; she's been a wonderful coworker and she's one of the people I get along with really well in the office. I'm hoping we can still schedule lunch before she settles at her new job. I'll surely miss her.

With winter slowly invading the area, I can't help but miss the colors of autumn just like I'll miss working with C, my coworker.

Here are more autumn photos I took at Montgomery Village.

"A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made.  The acoustics of this se…

Thanksgiving: Combining the Old Traditions with the New Traditions.

Written by Allen Cardenas

Tradition. It wasn't a word that I gave a lot of thought to when I was growing up in the Deep South. I was one of a minority of students whose parents were still married. So I knew with the confidence built on years of routine holidays that on Thanksgiving Day my family would eat lunch at my Father's parents and dinner with my Mother's large Irish clan. It was tradition. I just didn't know it. My first year in college, I made the mistake of exerting my independence and decided to stay with my friends instead of coming home for Thanksgiving. I felt guilt and a sense of disconnection. I also really wanted a big slice of my grandmother's Red Velvet cake.

Four years later I would be reminded of how important those traditions were again. In the span of nine months I lost all four of my grandparents. Thanksgiving suddenly became a “nuclear family” holiday. It was especially hard on my mother who was one of thirteen children. I realized tradition…

Glad To Be Home

After two weeks of travel, I am glad to be home. I've enjoyed immensely my trips to Italy, Croatia, Turkey, and Greece, but now, it's time to get back to the daily grind. It was still fall like when I left, now the trees are bare and winter is starting to settle in the area.

I'm still suffering from jet lag, and my to do list is long: there's loads of laundry to be done, groceries to be picked up, and bills to be paid. I can't wait to share my vacation photos with you, but first things first. I am glad to be home and I would like to thank everyone who visited my blog while I was away; I can't wait to visit yours.

A Thought From Rainy Rome

What a day in Rome!

I can sum up our second day in Rome through these words: breakfast, nutella on toast, great coffee, roman forum, palatine hill, colloseo, saw lots of women in skin tight jeans and boots, lunch with pizza margherita and pasta carbonara, piazza navona, rain, san pietro, rain, fontana di trevi, gelato, rain, rain, rain...hotel.

But here's a little thought anyway:

Today, a lot of memories came pouring in apart from the rain. Rome has been my home as a student, and I can't believe I am back visiting. As we walked through the city, we visited familiar places including my old flat at Borgo Pio; the noisy bakery below our former apartment looks the same - dark and full of soot, the restaurants and souvenir shops on my street are still there. Everything seems to be where I left them. In my opinion, Rome hasn't changed since I left, and after all these years, I still feel at home.

Although PW and I were soaked and our shoes went squish, squish, squish as we waded…

Mountain Trip

Guest post from: Kent Lara

Sally and I have been friends since elementary school. We've had our rough spots, but in the end we're best friends and we always hold together. We even went to the same college together, those were some great times. Sally can really party, but she can also settle down and get to work when she needs to. She's always been a big help getting me to buckle down and study before exams. I don't know what I would do without her.

Most importantly, she's always there when I need her, even if I don't think I do need her. If I'm in trouble she's there for me and when I'm about to make a bad decision she seems to be there to keep me in check. She even talked me into getting a home security alarm from that I set whenever I go out shopping or to visit her. I thought it was silly, but three months after I got it my neighbor's house was broken into. I don't think I will ever doubt her again. This weekend we'…

Cruise Report

Life is a cruise.

This is our travel route and we're now sailing back to Italy. After the cruise, we'll be visiting Venice, Milan and Rome, and I'm hoping to visit my former university (Rome) and if time permits see some friends and former classmates.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.

Happy Thursday to all!!!

Lemon Pie Year-Round

Guest post written by Meredith Scott

I really don't understand seasonal dishes. Well, I understand that it's hard to get certain fruits and vegetables at certain times of the year, but my appetite sure doesn't understand it because I always want the stuff that I guess you could say is out of season. Like I love eating ice cream when it's snowing outside and pumpkin pie in the summer.

I was online a few days ago emailing back and forth with my family about our Thanksgiving dinner arrangements and talking about what kind of desserts I was going to bring when I came across teh site After reading through it I decided to change over my internet service at my apartment to it.

Even though you might say that lemon pie is more a summer or spring dessert, I've decided to make it for Thanksgiving. Besides, it might be refreshing to have a dessert that is a little more light and refreshing than say chocolate cake after all o…

Autumn At Montgomery Village

Blogging as we sail through the Adriatic Sea. It's been smooth cruising so far and very happy to be here. Regular internet connection is a challenge, but I'm itching to just say "hello to all." Pictures from this vacation will have to wait, as it's not easy working with the ship's computers.

Anyway, below are more autumn photos I took earlier. Enjoy and will update soon. Thank you for the visits and comments. I will be visiting your blogs soon.

Autumn is an easy subject to photograph. I've never been so inspired to go out and just spend a whole day driving around, finding places that I find most colorful. This year though, fall was easy to find because it was everywhere.

After Lake Whetstone, I crossed a road to the Montgomery Village proper. With proper I mean, where the houses are located. So the stream you see in the photos is a tributary of Lake Whetstone.

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the hou…

On Travel And More

Packing for this two-week vacation is tougher than I thought. I'm so used to just throwing everything in my red backpack then head out with my passport and ticket, but this coming trip includes a week at sea and a week traversing on land. Although half of the trip will be spent on a backpack like travel, it is the cruise thing that throws off my packing technique.

Although I've worked for a cruise line before, this is the first time I'm going on a cruise holiday. There's a dress attire included on the ship's itinerary and it includes at least two formal nights; this I'm not used to and formality isn't really my cup of tea. When I travel, I stuff my travel bag with cargo pants, jeans and any other comfortable casual clothing I could find. I'm more of a backpacker, which is quite far off from the cruise culture that I know off. Still, I packed one dress that I could pair with my sneakers...LOL. Or, I'll just order room service during formal nights.

I …

Fun and Daunting Furniture Shopping

Guest post of the week by Robby Sykes

Heading out to the furniture store can be both fun and a little daunting. I say that only because for my husband and I to both go and pick out new furniture, we also have four kids to bring along! So, picking out new things can be fun for all of us but a little crazy too, as we try to explain that the beds they have set up in the store are not meant for jumping on. We will probably be heading out to some cheaper places first like KMart or Walmart. They often have pretty good deals on some of the items we are looking for. Our main focus right now is looking for a toddler bed for our youngest daughter. It is time for her to move from the crib so, hopefully we find some thing good. I just wish those stores had more of a selection set up in their store. If we don't find anything at either of those places, we may check out some real furniture stores like Levin or Roomful Express and then we will head back home to watch our direct tv hd packages. Ma…

Mr. Frost Is Here

I think that jackets and coats are here to stay. It felt that October was an abnormal month because there were days I'd wake up shivering in the mornings, then frustratingly shedding off my coat and sweater towards the end of the day due to heat and humidity. For me, October was a crazy month in terms of dressing. I didn't know whether to wear a long sleeve or just a blouse to work. There's a greater probability of being either over-dressed or under-dressed in the month of October. I guess that as the cooler temperatures make themselves at home in the area, it is easier to dress for one main purpose - to ward off the cold.

Last week was the first time my car was covered with ice and saw the grass and plants covered in frost, and although I'm not looking forward to scraping ice on my car or even shoveling snow on the sidewalk, I can't help but also get excited about some of my winter favorites like hot chocolate, warm cookies, pink mittens, purple scarves, winter bo…

Tiny Toon Adventures

Contributed by Alec Bates

When I was really young, Looney Tunes was easily my favorite television show. But as I got older, a new show came out that I liked a lot, called Tiny Toon Adventures. This was a brand new show on Cartoon Network that was created by Stephen Speilberg, so you know it had to be decent. You can't watch it on this channel anymore but you can probably still watch Tiny Toon Adventures on satellite tv on channels like Boomerang.

If you haven't guessed yet, Tiny Toon Adventures was basically just like Looney Tunes except all the characters were kids going to Toon School. I think they were learning how to be full fledged Looney Tunes if I recall correctly. The two main characters were Buster Bunny and Babs Bunny. Buster was obviously a mini-Bugs Bunny but I guess the creators wanted a girl as well so that's where Babs came in.

There are other characters that resemble Looney Tunes characters but it's been so long now I can't remember them all. I know…

Autumn At Lake Whetstone

It seems that every year (or any time of the year), I go back to this place, Lake Whetstone. I used to live close to this community, and I remain amazed at the lake's serene beauty which is magnified during autumn. It's a quick getaway from life's daily grind and the lake itself is an easy access or drive from I-270. It is here where I've taken lots of walks and stared quietly at the lake as I get lost in my thoughts. Somehow, I found the lake's company soothing and relaxing.

It is here where I've practiced taking photos with my then brand new Nikon last year. The lake and wildlife thriving in the area are perfect subjects for an amateur photographer like me. By far, autumn is my favorite time to visit because I know the trees around the lake are ready to show off some colors. With my several visits during the year, I figured out that early in the morning is the best time to take photos especially when it's not breezy or windy. When I took the photos below,…

Finally Reading The Source Material

Guest post written by Cynthia Perry

For a lot of women my age, the TV series Sex and the City was almost like a guide book for us about the ins and outs of dating. Now I realize that it probably wasn't the best example, but that definitely didn't stop us from watching it and still comparing the stuff that happens in our lives to what happened in the characters lives.

Well even though I'm a proud owner of the entire TV series on DVD, I had never read the book so I went online a few weeks ago to order it. That's when I ran across this website and started to think about switching it over as my internet company, which I did just a few days ago.

I'm reading the Sex and the City book now and it's really different from what I expected. I thought that the characters would be more developed but I can still tell how the writers of the show came up with ways to develop the characters that we know so little about from the book.

Five Question Friday

This is the first time I'm joining Five Question Friday, so here we go.

1. If you could have any talent and turn it into an occupation, what would it be? * I'd love to be a good writer, and have my own newspaper/magazine column. I'd love to write about lifestyle and focusing on the fun things in life. There's just too much violence and crime in the news these days, so I'd like to write feel good stories and focus on the lighter side of life. We all need a good smile or laughter these days.
2. Would you rather have a house at the beach or a cabin in the woods? * I'd love a house at the beach. With Hawaii as my homestate, nothing beats waking up to the sound of the waves and just burying my toes in the sand. After all, I am born and bred in the tropics.
3. Is there any meaning or reasoning for the names you chose for your child/children? * No children yet, but I'm considering adopting a dog. This morning, I just thought of the name Misha. I think it's a cool n…

Twenty Questions

I got this tag last year but didn't come to my attention until last month :(. My apologies to Sis, Gandang Igorota, and thank you for this tag.

Here's the rule: Remove 1 question from the list below, and add your own personal question to make it a total of 20 questions. Tag 8 people, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged.

1. At what age do/did you wish to marry?
* I do not have a specific wish to marry age, but I think that it will come when I'm ready.

2. What color do you like most?
* Pink

3. If you can have a superpower, what would it be?
* The ability to fly so that I don't need to buy tickets to see the world.

4. If you can travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
* Top on my list are Greece and Egypt.

5. Which part of you that you love the most?
* My eyes because they're sort of the windows to my soul.

6. When you get sad, what do you do?
* I cry and write on my journal.

7. What are …

Part 2: Shenandoah National Park

In the mountains, time stood still. There are no work deadlines to be met, no blaring beeping of cars stuck in traffic, and no work politics or corporate mambo jambo to decipher. Up there, the singing crickets, the soft breeze that ruffle the leaves, and the birds reign supreme. All the usual everyday stress of life seems so far and distant and I loved it.

A town below. That's the road we took to get up here. Lots of winding roads similar to Zig Zag Road. Fall foliage. In between fall and winter. Colors. Blue Ridge Mountains. My famous shoes and I, sitting on a rock, waiting for sunset.

Part 1: Shenandoah National Park

The mountains are always calling. They said that you can take the girl from the mountains, but you can never take the mountains from the girl. Does that make sense? Being born and bred in the Cordilleras has instilled in me great respect and utmost love for nature and culture. My heritage of mix Sagada, Bontoc, and Ilocos, Sagada being the dominant one, makes me proud and blessed that I grew up with a strong belief of who I am.

My recent visit to Shenandoah National Park reminded me of the Cordillera mountains. Although geographically speaking the terrain looks different, the mountain feel is unquestionably the same. The air up in the mountains felt cooler, fresher and cleaner, and when you gaze at the neighboring mountains and further, the view is beyond beautiful and breathtaking. As I closed my eyes and breathe in the mountain air, every breath and every beat of my heart  took me back to the places near and dear to my heart - the Mt. Provinces.

To be continued...